Demon Lord Dante
|Demon Lord Dante|
Cover of Mao Dante #2 (2002 series), published by d/visual
|Genre||Horror, Action, Science-Fiction|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||January 1, 1971 – June 1, 1971|
|Shin Mao Dante|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Akira Fuuga|
|Magazine||Kyofu no Yakata DX|
|Original run||1994 – 1996|
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Original run||March 2002 – October 2003|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kenichi Maejima|
|Original run||August 31, 2002 – November 23, 2002|
During 1971, Go Nagai wrote the original Demon Lord Dante manga, which was published in Kodansha's Bokura Magazine. After its original run in 1971 from January to June, Go Nagai went on to author the Devilman anime and manga, which was greatly inspired by Demon Lord Dante. However, the series received a remake in 1994 by illustrator Akira Fuuga called Shin Maō Dante (真・魔王ダンテ lit. The True Devil Lord Dante?).
In 2002, the comic series was officially revived for another remake by Go Nagai, and during the same year a 13 episode anime adaption was created and broadcast worldwide by Animax.
A Satan cult, whose leaders are demons in human form, begin to hold a series of Black Masses in hopes of reviving an ancient demon known as Dante with a virgin sacrifice. Ryō Utsugi, a high school student, begins experiencing strange nightmares and premonitions. Soon after, Ryō's sister, Saori, is kidnapped by these cultists for use in one of their sacrificial ceremonies. Ryō's premonitions guide him to the ritual and he saves her right before it is disrupted by a group of militant Christians. Believing that Ryō's new-found powers could ultimately awaken Dante, the cultists orchestrate a chain of events and end up luring Ryō high into the mountains, where he discovers a portal that takes him into the deepest parts of the Himalayas, the heart of Dante's prison.
Using telekinetic powers, Dante uses Ryō to free himself from his ice prison before eating him alive as the cultists use a princess to again perform the black mass used to summon Dante, this time with success. However, due to unexplained reasons, Dante's consciousness has been taken over by Ryō who, upon seeing his new form, is blinded by rage and rampages through Nagoya. His frenzy ends upon encountering Zenon, an old friend of Dante, who, becoming enslaved by God, was forced to fight and thereby be killed by Dante. Eventually, Ryō encounters the leader of the cultists, who tells him that his birth family was killed in a car accident and his adopted father, who is both a doctor and the leader of a rival cult dedicated to God's Will, was the one who saved him, revealing Saori to be unrelated by blood. In retaliation to Dante's release, the followers of God unleash four demon lords, who wreak havoc on the city by draining the life force of its inhabitants, causing train wrecks, and so on, in order to gain Dante's attention. Ryō also meets the demon Medusa, who assumes the form of a supermodel named Saeko Kodai.
As the story progresses, it is finally revealed that Ryo is actually an incarnation of Dante when he was human. It turned out that Sodom and Gomorrah were a futuristic utopia under the rule of Satan. However, God, an energy-based being came to Earth and demanded to use the people of Sodom as hosts for its power. When Satan and the people refuse to comply, God proceeds to use animals as vessels to destroy Sodom, an action that resulted in many of its occupants turned into their current demonic forms from being exposed to the residual energies. The survivors of Gomorrah, the last actual humans in existence, became the Satanists who allied themselves with the Demons to fight God who took residence in apes and jump-started their evolution into the current human race. Near the end of the conflict that followed, as Satan both sealed himself within another dimension, Dante transferred his human body and soul to Judas Iscariot and Ryo Utsugi respectively to keep fighting after he was sealed. With Ryo finally regaining his memories as Dante while in Sodom and Gomorrah, he teams up with the cultists and plans to finally take vengeance upon God for his sins while releasing Satan.
However, God decides to jumpstart the apocalypse, gathering the pieces of itself within humans to reform, as the humans ultimately destroy themselves, while taking Saori to make her the ultimate weapon under his control to smite all the demons. After Dante/Ryo succeeds in destroying the first form which was a large serpent featuring twisted parodies of Adam and Eve, she transforms into an angelic knight with Saori's body placed in its forehead. She battles Ryo fiercely before managing to break God's hold over her. But ultimately, along with the demons' creation, this was all part of God's design as they were collectively his trump Adam and Eve, their embrace destroying the world and scattering God back into space to find another world to repeat the cycle of conflict among its native lifeforms. The final scene of the show shows them holding hands and walking in what seems to be a prehistoric version of the Garden of Eden.
- Ryo Utsugi (宇津木涼 Utsugi Ryo?): The main protagonist of the series. At first, Ryo is an average, but brooding high school student who constantly has nightmares about Dante. When he is spirited away to the Himalayas during a hiking trip, Ryo is manipulated by Dante's demon form to free him, resulting in Dante brutally murdering Ryo. Fortunately Ryo is able to overcome Dante's influence and is granted the demon's power, much to Ryo's dismay. As the story progresses, Ryo develops a crush on his sister Saori and discovers that he was actually the survivor of a car accident in which his real parents were killed in years prior to the main story, making him unrelated to his "sister." He also learns that he is actually the human avatar of Dante while assuming the image Dante once had as a human in Sodom. With his memories restored by Medusa, Ryo finally accepts being Dante and resolves to fight against God for the massacre of Sodom and Gomorrah
Ryo possesses two forms while transforming into the demon version of Dante. One is the form Dante assumed during God's attack on Sodom and the other is a small, human sized version reminiscent of Akira Fudo's Devilman form in the early anime/manga.
- Demon Lord Dante (魔王ダンテ Maō Dante?): The most powerful of the demons, a large blue monster with bird legs, chiropteran wings, and the face of his human form in the center of his head. In his early life, Dante was a human in the futuristic Sodom where he was in love with Medusa and was actually good friends with the cultists and Satan the wise one. When God attacked Sodom, Dante pilots a powerful jet fighter in an attempt to buy time for his friends to escape, but is grabbed by a Pteranodon. Careening into a nearby Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dante was left open to be consumed in God's fires, causing him to be fused with his jet and the two prehistoric reptiles to create his current form. Later in a confrontation with God at the Himalayas, Dante was sealed in ice. However, losing his memories as a result of his counter to his sealing, Dante transferred his human body to Judas Iscariot and then his soul to Ryo Utsugi moments after the car accident which killed Ryo's real parents, reviving the child as an extension of himself. After he uses Ryo to break the seal, Dante proceeds to eat Ryo as his usual means of obtaining knowledge. However, in an unforeseen turn of events, Ryo's consciousness took over Dante's body. Dante's powers include, but not limited to supersonic flight, fast healing, high resistance to heat, fireballs and flame breath, radioactive and electric body rays, sonic screaming, and eye lasers.
- Saori Utesgi (宇津木沙織?): Ryo's younger sister.
- Medusa (メドゥーサ Medūsa?): Dante's lover during his years in Sodom, escaping the city's destruction while turned into a demon in the form of a nude woman who uses her hair as a weapon and turn her enemies to stone. She assumed the human form of a supermodel named Saeko Kodai in present, helping Ryo regain his memories as Dante. She plays an instrumental part in freeing Satan the wise one from his prison at the end of the anime, but dies in the process while she caught a final glimpse of Satan the wise one. Medusa is speculated to be a prototype of the antagonist Sirene from Devilman.
- Demon Lord Satan (魔王サタン Maō Satan?): Also known as Satan the Wise One, he appears in the form of a young blond human in futuristic attire and is one Demon whose body is less altered, with horns and six bat like seraphim wings while he was imprisoned in ice. In Sodom, he was the benevolent ruler of Sodom and Gomorrah who was asked by God to hand over the bodies of the cities' population. When Satan refused to sacrifice the human population for God's selfish agenda, God retaliated by sending numerous demons to attack the city. Satan and Dante, along with Dante's friends, escaped and Satan sealed himself within another dimension after Dante was sealed in ice. Satan is later freed by Medusa who dies in the process and becomes instrumental in fighting against Saori who became an angelic weapon during the series' finale, learning God's true nature yet was powerless to stop it. He appears to be a prototype of Ryo Asuka from the Devilman series and seems to be based upon Dante's Satan in the Divine Comedy.
- Beelzebub (ベルゼブブ Beruzebubu?): An insectoid demon, Beelzebub was Dante's mentor during their days in Sodom. While preparing for Dante's return, posing as the Romanian professor and Satanist cult leader Professor Veil Zebub (昭和版ではベールゼブブ?), Beelzebub was assassinated before his corpse was later revived by his followers as he oversees the sacrificial murders that would summon Dante. Beelzebub eventually teams up with Dante/Ryo during the final confrontation with God and is killed during the final battle.
- Astarot (アスタロト Asutaroto?): His true form is a centaur-like demon who died protecting Dante from the God-controlled Saori.
- Samael (サマエル Samaeru?): One of the cultists who acquired the powers of demons. He appears in demon form as an anthropomorphic caterpillar with three heads. He is soon killed after Adam and Eve absorb his body when he tried to attack them.
- Carne (カーネ Kāne?):
- Gushion (グシオン?): His true form is a panther with a brain-like head. He is killed by Shi while fighting the Four Devil Kings.
- Ura: A female member of the cultists, her Demon form that of a bird woman. She is killed during the final battle.
- Demon Beast Zenon (魔ゼノン Majū Zenon?): Also known as Zenon, King of a Hundred Beasts, he was Dante's friend during their days in Sodom. He appears as a wolf-headed giant with eyes on his chest and an army of demon animals at his command. While Dante and Satan were sealed in ice, Zenon was forced into serving God so he would not suffer their fate under the promise he would be reincarnated as god-like being. Posing as a tarot card reader, Zenon used his connections to the Satanists to tip their enemies before being found out. Though spared by Veil so he can see his old friend brought back, Zenon tries to kill Ryo/Dante when his attempts to get him not to reconsider fighting God falls on deaf ears and he dies against him in battle, his last words a warning of God's trump card.
- Four Devil Kings: A quartet of horse-riding Devils that follow God, composed of Shi (シー Shī?), the spider demoness Lamia (ラミア Ramia?), Sakushi (サクシ?), and Kuninba (クニンバ?). Released, they proceed to kill and maim any human they come across to lure Dante out. However, during Lamia's Labyrinth scheme, Dante manages to rip Lamia to pieces while the other three demon lords were killed during the fight.
- Nightmare (悪夢 Akumu?)
- Ritual (儀式 Gishiki?)
- Resurrection (復活 Fukkatsu?)
- Madness (狂乱 Kyōran?)
- Fate (宿命 Unmei?)
- Herald (予兆?)
- Encounter (邂逅 Kaikō?)
- Disbelief (不信 Fushin?)
- Labyrinth (魔宮 Makyū?)
- Encroachment (神略 Kamiryaku?)
- Saori (沙織?)
- The Unbreakable Weapon (窮地 Kyūchi?, Adversity)
- Consummation (終焉 Shūen?, End)
- Narrator: Hiroya Ishimaru
- Ryo Utsugi: Susumu Chiba
- Saori Utusugi: Sanae Kobayashi
- Saeko Kodai/Medusa: Rie Ishizuka
- Kosuke Utsugi: Takehiro Koyama
- Sosuke Oshiba: Takahiro Sakurai
- Ura: Jun Karasawa
- Samael: Mitsuru Ogata
- Satan: Nachi Nozawa
- Lamia: Rumi Ochiai
- Zenon: Shigeru Shibuya
- Shea: Takashi Nagasako
- Tamiko Utsugi: Rei Igarashi
- Narrator: David Sanford
- Ryo Utsugi: Jimmy Keegan
- Dante: Kaleo Sallas
- Saori Utusugi: Beth Ginnett
- Saeko Kodai/Medusa: Linda Borg
- Veil Zebub: Lawrence Darrow
- Kosuke Utsugi: Scott Burnett
- Sosuke Oshiba: Ross Lawrence
- Ura: Carmel Helene
- Samael: Tom Patrick
- Zenon: Ted Hartsook
- Tamiko Utsugi: Jeni Good